Recently I swore off of Block-of-the-Month projects because they take time from my big projects. But they are so much fun and so tempting that I am back. My local guild sponsors a BOM that appeals to me more this year than they usually do, and you’ll see why in a minute. Every year one pattern is selected that is varied somehow each month. Last year it was by modifying the pattern in the center of the Variable Star block as well as color. This year it is a very scrappy block. (Do you begin to see the appeal?) And each month the blocks one makes are entries into a raffle for all that month’s blocks. Could be fun to win!
So I made two for August–two chances to win.
The BOM chair found the pattern, “Scrappy Byways,” on Corey Yoder’s blog Little Miss Shabby, and obtained permission to use it. (The blog is licensed under Creative Commons for non-commercial, no derivatives.) I tried to find the page to link to her discussion of the block, but can direct you only to her blog–her search feature wasn’t cooperating.
As you know, I’ve been working on scrap control. I had quite a few 2 1/2-inch squares, plus I knew there were some from previous spurts of scrap control and mini-charm packs I’d gotten in various SWAG bags. I decided to sort the pile I had accumulated, put them away and at the same time pull what I had for the whole year’s color selections. Then I’d know what I needed to look for in the scrap bin to fill out the 20 needed for each block.
August and two other months are totally scrappy. September is blues, October is oranges and purples, and December is reds, etc. I made a pile for each month and started. The months with single colors got first choice when their color showed up; the squares that didn’t resolve to one color went to the totally-scrappy pile as did three of each when I had multiples of a color that had gone to a specific-color month. I didn’t want duplication in a single block, though chances are there would be some in the whole quilt.
I would never take the time to go digging through my fabrics each month and cut 20 single squares to make a block; however, with the pile of squares already cut, and the list for the year, it was just one afternoon of sorting and selecting. So it was quite timely, my spurt of scrap energy and the BOM announcement. I have all but two or three for most months. Pinks and pastels are sparse, so I’ll be concentrating on them as I cut more scraps.
Because it is a raffle and one person will assemble all, there are some rules, one is to “spin” the seams. I’d heard of that technique before to make flatter blocks, but hadn’t thought of the second advantage: The seams will be right for assembling the blocks in an allover design if everyone spins them all clockwise. So the four-patch blocks are spun and the outer edge seams are also. It seems just as fiddly as pressing seams open to accomplish the same thing. However, it does allow for the technique of nesting to make corners meet. I will, of course, do it this way for this project; time will tell if I am a convert.
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